Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My First Convention: Salute to Supernatural 2015

excuse the people in the background! whoops!

~Permission to SQUEEEEEE!!!!!
For my birthday present to myself this year, I treated myself to a ticket to the Salute to Supernatural convention in Houston, Texas on January 25th, 2015- the first time this convention has been held in my hometown! While I haven't been a fan of the t.v. show Supernatural for quite as long as some other people, I truly have fallen head over heels in love with it. I'm obsessed. And like Doctor Who, or Monster High, or any other geektastic fandom that I am a proud member of, I can definitely say that Supernatural has changed my life and has brought me joy in a time when I really needed it.

Unforunately, I actually didn't end up taking as many photos as I thought I would! And I was way too far away to even try to get a clear shot of any of the celebs during their panels, so apologies for that section of this post being boring/empty. If you search for #houscon on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, you can come across so many good photos/videos that other people were able to take, so please do so because I am not about to steal anyone else's photos!

My Cosplay...

 I arrived at the hotel venue at about 10 a.m. feeling kind of nervous, but oh so very excited! I hadn't yet revealed my casual cosplay choice to anyone, so this was the first photo I posted on my Instagram:

I was freaking out the morning of, because I realized that I hadn't practiced actually TYING  A TIE, so I did a last minute google search for diagrams, and did the best I could. Honestly, I don't know how dudes can put up with wearing these things.

I had also been posting photos of a mystery "little dude" that I had made clothes for weeks before the con, but I never told anyone who he was going to eventually become! It was kind of a last minute idea that I had, and honestly, I'm so surprised that it actually ended up looking better than I expected.. Introducing: my DIY DEAN WINCHESTER FBI AGENT DOLLY!!!!

and yes.. that IS me with Dean Winchester himself in that photo...

The actual blank doll body was purchased pre-made from the craft store. All I did was stuff it, and then I made his entire little outfit from scratch. I used felt to create his signature spiky-ish hair, and then I hand embroidered his face! For the finishing touches, he's holding a felt cheeseburger in one hand, and a slice of cherry pie in the other, because everyone knows Dean loves food. I'm so freaking proud of my doll, and I definitely want to make more, of different characters.

So since I had a Dean-dolly, naturally, that just meant I had to be Sam, so I wore the appropriate badge. (Both Sam and Dean's FBI badges were bought off of eBay - Dean's says his name is agent "John Bonham" and Sam's is agent "Robert Plant").  The rest of my outfit was just clothes I already owned. The purple tie was thrifted, and the shoes were brand new from DSW - I looked for the most "fbi agent"-looking ones, nice and shiny and black!

The Venue and Vendors...

The hotel that this was all being held at is SO nice! Unfortunately, there wasn't much "Supernatural" decor around, aside from a few banners, (mostly inside the ballroom where the panels were held), so there wasn't a lot of opportunity for photo taking.

When I first arrived, I was drawn to a big table set up with some merch, and I thought it was all Supernatural stuff, but when I got closer I realized it was all for a different show on the CW, (The Vampire Diaries). There were also some interesting looking wooden pieces, but I couldn't figure out what or why any of this had to do with Supernatural, so I asked the lady sitting behind the table. She then pointed to a gentleman who approached me and introduced himself. Long story short: it turns out that this guy is the older brother of none other than Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon Salvatore on the Vampire Diaries!

The table was for his and Ian's company: Built of Barnwood (aka B.O.B.), and they sell handmade home decor items made with recycled materials. I was already familiar with the company as I had first heard about it sometime last year, but I  couldn't believe I was witnessing the pieces in real life.. and getting a first hand look at specific items by none other than Bob Somerhalder himself! Ian's brother!  I asked him if he would mind taking a photo with me, and he happily agreed. He was very kind, (and he totally has the same blue eyes as Ian - no joke), and his pieces were truly lovely. Unfortunately, some of them were a little out of my price range, so I didn't buy anything from him this time around.. but maybe next time!

Some of the other tables set up were selling the SPN merch, including two different sizes of toy car replicas of the 1967 Impala that they use in the show. I wanted one SO badly, but the price for them was just a bit too steep for me. But I did buy a black and white photo print of Jensen and Jared together, and I looked all over for the table where they were supposed to be selling a book called "Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls" that I really wanted, but when I finally found the table, they were all sold out :(  They had free postcards of the cover of the book, though, so of course I helped myself to one, (you can see it to the right of my Dean doll, above).

Overall, (not to sound mean or anything), the vendors areas and overall choices were a bit.. lacking.  I would have LOVED to see some props from the actual show displayed somewhere. I found out the next day that one thing that I completely missed out on was an ACTUAL 1967 Chevy Impala car that was apparently on display outside! Apparently, there is a couple in my hometown who actually found and bought one years ago, and had it painstakingly remodeled after THE SPN Impala, and even tricked out the trunk with a weapons case and the devil's mark and everything. They take it out to different conventions to display. You can read about it here.

I'm not 100% sure if it was there on Sunday or not, but I'm SO distraught that I missed out on getting photos of that. I really wish someone had announced/advertised it, but there was nothing. Some lucky fans even got to sit inside of it... But at least this couple lives in my city, so maybe I'll have my chance yet.

the Fellow Con goers...

I didn't witness a whole lot of other cosplay, but there were plenty of Castiels, as I knew there would be. They ranged in ages, but the best one (in my opinion) was definitely the one with the black wings that opened up! I saw this fantastic Cas walk into the ballroom when I was sitting there. I asked for a photo with my doll, and this was the awesome result:

(a HUGE thank you to this Castiel for letting me take this!)

The second best Castiel was the CUTEST little blonde toddler walking around with a tiny trench coat. Misha Collins posted a photo of him on his official Instagram: @officialmisha

The Panels...

Colin Ford
After being starstruck by the "original Somerhalder" as he referred to himself as, I proceeded into the ballroom where the main events were to be held. I had an upcoming photo op with Jensen Ackles that was set to start at 10:45, but I was number 283 in line, and they were only allowing 50 people at a time, so I had some waiting to do!

When I walked in, the very first panel was already going on: actor Colin Ford was speaking onstage, (he plays the young/kid version of Sam Winchester on the show). He was so calm and cool and spoke about how young he really was when he started watching Supernatural to study for his upcoming role, and how he was actually kind of scared by the subject matter. He also mentioned how he and the other actor who played the young Dean Winchester in episode 8 of Season 3, (" a very Supernatural Christmas") had gone shopping for leather jackets together. Cute.

**after Colin's panel, they set up to play a game of "stunt the experts" onstage, and some time after, my number was finally called so I headed to my photo op.. I'll talk about that in the next section!**

Tahmoh Penikett
I was actually really excited about seeing this actor's panel, as I was familiar with his work as 'Helo' on Battlestar Galactica. On Supernatural, he plays Gadreel/Ezekiel. He turned out to be super soft spoken, and I had a bit of a diffucult time understanding what he was saying, even though he had a microphone! But he seemed super super sweet and he received lots of good questions from the fans. I found out he also appeared on a show called Dollhouse, (that I've never watched), but now I really want to check it out, as it sounds like it's so good! So I'm hoping Netflix has it, or that I can find dvd's.

Louden Swain
Ok, so this wasn't actually a "panel" - this is the name of the band led by actor Rob Benedict, who plays 'Chuck' on Supernatural. They played in between panels, singing classic rock covers, as well as one original song. They're actually very good, and I need to get their album!!

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles
The one everyone and their MOM was waiting for! When the MC Richard Speight (who plays the Trickster and the angel Gabriel on SPN), came onstage to announce them, he first mentioned how awesome it was that the show had officially gotten green lighted for an ELEVENTH season, and the crowd went wild. He went on to talk about how awesome it would be for it to reach a THIRTY-SEVENTH season! (Again, more cheering, as we all wholeheartedly agree!), and he did this little intro about what Supernatural would look like in 37 years, and we're all thinking Jensen and Jared are about to appear from behind the curtain...

Well, two guys did indeed come onstage.

However.. they were NOT Jensen and Jared... even though they insisted that they were.
They were.. older gentlemen. So yes.. Supernatural in 37 years will look like that, of course.. and then Jensen and Jared suddenly DID come out, behind the two older gentlemen.. After the crowd is done erupting, we all find out the two older gentlemen who came out first are actually none other than the PROUD FATHERS of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki!  How amazing that we got to see them!

J2's panel was very fun. At this point in the afternoon, though, my phone was already dying, and I couldn't get a good photo to save my life, because I was soooo far away!

Some of the things I most remember them talking about/being asked:

  • Jared was asked which version of Sam is his favorite to play, and he said "brother Sam"... (awwwww!!!!)

  • Someone asked them if they could act out a fight scene in slow motion. They happily agreed and it was hilarious

  • they talked about how difficult and trying it can be to wear SFX makeup. Jared told his story of how the 'swollen eye' prosthetic from the end of season 1/beginning of season 2 had started melting into his eye while filming, so they eventually had to take it off.

  • Jensen insisted that Dean Winchester does NOT cry. His face just "leaks".

  • Someone else asked what they had thought of actor Misha Collins (Castiel) when they first met him, and they played out that day with Jared doing his best impersonation of Misha: he got down on his knees (because he is SO TALL) and said "I saved you from perdition" in a funny voice. He stood up again a while later, but Jensen was still telling the story, and when Jared tried to get down again, his shoe started to come off.. so he brought out one of his most famous lines, from the episode "Bad Day at Black Rock" (ep 3 season 3): "I lost my shoe!"

  • They spoke a lot about their very humble beginnings, and it was nice to know that even they had struggles when they were first starting out: Jared thought that L.A. was a tough place to live and wasn't sure if he could handle it when he first lived there many years ago.. but then again that was all because people on the streets gave him really weird looks one time when he forgot he had fake blood all over his face from an audition. HA.

  •  when it was time for the final question: Jensen stood up and literally did a whole song and dance about it: Louden Swain (who had remained on stage this whole time) started playing some music, and Jensen started singing "it's the LAAAAST question!" and dancing back and forth, and it was so funny. 
And after that very lucky fan got to go onstage to ask her last question, Louden Swain started playing The Outfield's "Your Love" and Jensen joined in to sing, and it was the best! His serious/singing voice is actually really freaking good and I swooned all over the place. Yeah...

And then they left :(

My Photo Op

Before Tahmoh and J2's panels, I had my photo op with Jensen Ackles. I was on the verge of a panic attack at this point.. I couldn't believe that I was about to meet Jensen Ackles!!! I walked into the special room where they were taking the photos and stopped in my tracks. There he was!! And not to sound like a ridiculous fangirl, but I was literally floored by how HANDSOME he is! It's one thing to see him on the t.v. screen, (and yes, I've always thought he was good looking, but holy guacamole, he is gorgeous in real life)! And tall!

The line was moving at the speed of light, and my mind is going blank and I had no idea how I even looked/if my tie was straight/if my hair was all right.. I was so nervous! Since days before, I had this idea in my head of how I wanted to pose for the photo: I was going to hold the Dean doll in between us, so that he could help me hold it up or something, but that all quickly went out the window. When it was finally my turn, I smiled at him (or tried to!) and held up my doll and said "Say Hi to your mini me!".  I'm not 100% certain if he actually heard me clearly, though, but he did look at it and laughed.. whether or not it was a "oh that's so cool!" or an "oh that's kinda weird" laugh, I'm not sure. But before I knew it, his arm is already around me and the camera went off and that was it. My moment was done. I couldn't even get a proper hug :(

He looked down at me (again: he's freaking TALL, but not as tall as Jared Padalecki), and told me "thank you" and I said the same to him and then I had to walk away and I was very sad about it.. but also happy.  I'll never forget it!

And next time, I also want a photo with Jared!

(I haven't yet received the shareable jpeg file of the photo, but you can see my print on the photo above next to my Dean doll on my desk!)

And that was basically my big day at my first convention. I went home shortly after J2's panel because I didn't have tickets to any of the other photo ops/autograph sessions that were still set to happen. Overall, I truly had so much fun and enjoyed every minute of my day.

I am ALREADY looking forward to next year! (They've already announced the dates!). I will be better prepared for things, and I hope to have a photo with Jared, and maybe even Misha, and I even have an idea for another cosplay in mind.. but I'm not saying ;)

This was probably a really small convention, compared to others, but it wasn't a bad intro into the world of it. I look forward to attending more cons in the near future!

Hope you enjoyed reading that!

What do you think?!?



  1. Sounds like you had such a great time. I love the doll you made! I actually stopped watching SPN in the sixth season. It got boring and repetitive. I hope it gets better because I want to give it another shot. I love Castiel, Crowly, and Gabriel.

    1. I get what you mean about the repetitiveness but I still enjoy it because every single actor on this show is so good!

  2. Yay! I'm glad you had a great time! I was doing press once for the show, and when Jared entered the room, I almost died. I sent a text to a friend saying I don't think I can do this. They are SO MUCH HOTTER in person. It should be a crime!

    1. Thanks! And yes, I agree! I forgot to mention that even though I was so far away, Jared's hair looked so lustrous and soft and pretty and I wanted to toooouuch it ;) *swoon*

  3. YAY! I am so glad you had an amazing time. Jensen Ackles is a beautiful man. And yes, Dollhouse is on Netflix : )

    1. Jensen Ackles' eyelashes own my heart ;) And that's awesome! I know what I'm binge watching this weekend :P

  4. Sounds like a blast! That's so great that you got a photo op with Jensen Ackles! I'm really hoping to go to the Denver con this year. If I go, we'll have to compare notes! :)

    1. Absolutely! I really hope you get to go! I'm already looking forward to next year ;)

  5. Yay! I'm glad you had a good time! Your cosplay turned out great, and that doll is so cute - fantastic job on the eyes and the pie detail!


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